Moving Abroad Checklist 2020: Planning Your International Move

Moving abroad is a big and exciting step –but one which can easily become stressful. To prevent this from happening, we’ve prepared a moving abroad checklist so you can easily prepare for your international move. In case you’re relocating within the US, check out our national moving checklist.

Collect Important Documents

One of the most important steps when planning your international move is making sure all your paperwork is in check. This not only includes gathering all the important documents you currently have, but also applying for any permit/document your new country of residency might request. These documents include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Passport
  • Work/study visa and other related permits
  • Academic records
  • Employment records
  • Medical and dental records
  • Financial records
  • Insurance policies
  • Driving license

In case you’ve decided to take your pet with you on your move, we recommend that you first check what are the entry requirements for animals in the country you’re moving to. As well, ensure you have the following documents arranged before your move:

  • Pet passport
  • Vaccine records
  • Health certificate

Research the Area

When making the big step of moving to a whole different country, you’d probably want to know a few things about the area you’re planning to live in. We recommend that you check out the following:

  • Living costs in the area (e.g.: food costs)
  • Housing market
  • Job opportunities (if applicable)
  • Transportation options
  • Schools that might be appealing for your kids
  • Medical facilities

Woman filling out moving space calculator on laptop

Home Preparations

Another important step in your moving abroad checklist is to consider what you’ll do with both your home and your household goods. So, we recommend keeping the following in mind:

  • Sort: It’s smart to go through every room in your house and decide which belongings you want to bring along and which you’d rather get rid off. For those you’d like to get rid off, think about possibly donating or selling them.
  • Home repairs: Make sure you fix everything that needs to be fixed before moving out. This is particularly important if you’re currently renting, as it can ensure that you’ll get all of your security deposit back.
  • Vehicle arrangements: Decide whether you’d like to sell your vehicle or ship it to your country of destination. In case of the latter, make sure you notify your mover about it.
  • Set up your house for rent or sale: If you currently own a property, decide whether you’d like to sell it or rent it and contact a real estate agency to arrange such.

Calculate the Volume of Your Move

Before contacting any international mover, it’s crucial that you first calculate the volume of your move. Providing this to movers will allow them to give you the most accurate quotes possible. We recommend that you use our moving space calculator to quickly and easily find out how many cubic feet your move occupies.

Moving Abroad Checklist 2020: Planning Your International Move

Select an International Mover

It’s of course nearly impossible to perform an international move without the help of a moving company. Because of this, a crucial step in your international moving checklist is to request moving quotes. By filling out our quote form, you will receive up to 5 free moving quote forms. This will allow you to compare among international movers, and ultimately select the one that best fits your needs. We recommend that you start requesting quotes at least 3 to 2 months prior to your moving date.

Check out our top 8 international moving companies page if you’d like to know which companies, according to our judgement, are the best international movers of 2020!

Healthcare Arrangements

No matter how fit and healthy you are, it’s extremely important that you are covered by a health insurance. So, another important element of your moving abroad checklist is making sure you take out a health insurance policy. We recommend that you:

  • Healthcare system: Research the healthcare system of your country of destination.
  • Health insurance: Research the possibility of taking out an international health insurance policy if your country of destination doesn’t offer free healthcare.
  • Medication: If you’re currently taking prescription medicine, check that they’re legal in your country of destination. If this is the case, the next step is to research how to obtain them.

Financial Arrangements

Important financial matters that you should be in the lookout for in your international moving checklist include:

  • Checking the tax implications of moving overseas
  • Assessing what your tax situation will be in your new destination
  • Opening a local bank account in your country of destination and transferring your money over
  • Deciding whether to close or maintain open your current bank account

Moving Abroad Checklist 2020: Planning Your International Move

Travel Arrangements

A big part of your international move will be arranging your travel. It’s crucial that you make sure your passport is up to date. If this is the case, you’ll need to make sure that you book your international flight a few months in advance. The further away your booking date is to the date you’re performing the book, the cheaper the flight will be.

Making your moving date and the arrival date of your belongings coincide can be a bit tricky. Because of this, we often recommend that you arrange temporary accommodation for your first nights in your country of destination. It goes without saying that this is particularly important if you haven’t bought or rented a property in this new place.

Notify Others About Your Move

There are certain institutions you must notify about your international move, including:

  • Your bank
  • Loan providers
  • Insurance companies
  • The U.S Postal Service
  • The Social Security Administration
  • Tax agencies
  • Your employer

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Prepare Your Move

Once you get closer to your moving date, there are certain things you must on the lookout for in your moving abroad checklist, including:

  • Collecting boxes: Start collecting free boxes at supermarkets and other local stores –they’re often happy to hand them out for free.
  • Ordering packing supplies: Order the packing supplies that you might not be able to get for free, such a plastic wraptape and speciality containers.
  • Getting started: Get a head start by packing items from each room that aren’t frequently used. As days pass, start packing up more day-to-day items.
  • Labeling: Make sure that you label every single box that you pack. Include things such as what it contains and the room in your house it will belong to.
  • Gather valuables: Gather all important documents and valuables, such as birth certificates, passports and jewelry, so you can carry them personally with you the day of your move.
  • Deep cleaning: Give your house a good deep clean to ensure you only need to do minimal clean-up the upcoming days before your move.
  • Canceling subscriptions and utilities: Make sure to cancel all subscriptions and utilities with sufficient time before your move.
  • Forwarding mail: Make the necessary arrangements at the post office to have your mail forwarded to your new home address.

Moving Abroad Checklist 2020: Plan Your International Move

Last Minute Arrangements

The last couple days before your moving date can be quite chaotic. So, keep in mind these last few things you’d definitely want to check-off your moving abroad checklist right before your move:

  • Contact the mover to double-check the details of your move
  • Confirm your flight
  • Finish up packing essentials
  • Make an inventory list of final boxes so you can easily assess whether everything arrived at its destination
  • Withdraw cash (the currency of your country of destination) to make sure you’d be prepared for any emergencies
  • Have a final walk through your house to make sure everything that needed to you wished to move has been packed
  • Get ready for moving day by ensuring you have a carry-on packed with essentials and valuables

Next Steps

We hope that this article gave you an idea of what are the kind of things you need to keep in mind during an international move. We recommend that during your move you come back to this moving overseas checklist regularly to ensure you won’t forget anything important!

If you would like more information and advice, check out the following pages: